Cross Country Checkup

Should racist and sexist comments be banned from social media?

The killing of a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan unleashed such a torrent of hate online, that Premier Brad Wall had to step in. Should racist and sexist comments be banned from social media? With host Duncan McCue.
Statistics Canada reported in 2011 that one in six internet users reported seeing content that promotes hate or violence. The people who experience the most abuse are women and people of colour. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

The killing of a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan unleashed such a torrent of hate online, that Premier Brad Wall had to step in. Should racist and sexist comments be banned from social media?

Checkup host Duncan McCue (CBC)
"The whole province is learning a little bit about the importance of circumspection, and the importance of tolerance," said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. "And the importance of maybe all us thinking before we respond emotionally to something that's very emotional on all sides." 

Wall appealed for calm and restraint after the recent killing of a young Cree man unleashed a torrent of hate online. 22-year-old Colten Boushie was shot to death, after he and four friends drove onto a farm near the town of Biggar, Sask.. Farmer Gerald Stanley is now charged with second-degree murder. What prompted the Premier to wade in was a wave of racist social media posts after the shooting.

Many can't be published, but here are a few to give you an idea: "He should have shot all five of them, given a medal." And: "Shoot them, they breed like rabbits anyways."

Posts like that shine a spotlight on race relations in Saskatchewan. But Internet haters and trolls are global. They have forced some media outlets to ban comments sections, and many users to flee the Internet.

Our topic today: "Should racist and sexist comments be banned from social media? How do you deal with online hate?"

Guests

Devin Heroux, CBC TV reporter in Saskachewan        
Twitter: @Devin_Heroux

Trevor Greyeyes, editor First Nations Voice in Winnipeg
Twitter: @TrevorGreyeyes

Cara Zwibel,  Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Twitter: @cancivlib

Nick Diakopoulos, Professor of Computational Journalism at the University of Maryland. 

Links & Articles

On Colten Boushie

CBC.ca

Globe and Mail

National Post

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

APTN

On Internet commenting

CBC.ca

Globe and Mail

New York Times

The Guardian

Other sources

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